Many people think that eating healthy isn’t tasty. Instead of following a healthy well-balanced diet, people turn to ‘fad’ diets such as low-carb diets and high-protein diets. But what all of us should really strive for is a well-balanced meal that’s colorful and flavorful. Here is the first edition of my “nutrition lecture”, that suggests some healthy tasty foods that can be easily incorporated into one’s diet.
Tomatoes are known to contain lycopene, a powerful phytonutrient. It is also a great source of vitamin C and A. Tomatoes can reduce the risk of many cancers, such as prostate, breast, and colon cancer.
For a fresh summer meal, try sliced tomatoes and onions with basil, black pepper, and red wine vinegar, or use sundried tomatoes in salads and pastas instead of fresh tomatoes.
Cremeni mushrooms are a good source of many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as selenium, potassium, copper, and manganese. They have many protective benefits against cancers and other diseases.
Mushrooms are so easy and simple to enjoy - try sauteeing mushrooms with dried herbs and black pepper, adding sauteed mushrooms to veggie burgers or salads, or adding onion, bell pepper, cayenne, and seasonings to make mushroom fajitas.
Swiss chard is another healthy vegetable, along with other green leafy vegetables. It has more than the recommended amount of vitamin K (for maintaining strong bones), vitamin A (for eye sight and prevention of cancers), iron (for red blood cells), vitamin E (an antioxidant for mental functioning), fiber, and other great health benefits.
Swiss chard tastes similar to spinach and is not bitter, like kale tends to be. Try sautéing swiss chard with some minced garlic, olive oil, chopped onion, and garbanzo beans, or using it in pastas and soups.
Tofu and other soy products are very much praised by health professionals these days for their soy protein, calcium, iron, and other vitamins/minerals. Tofu is very low in cholesterol and sodium, which is good for the cardiovascular system. It is also a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of protein, manganese and selenium - all important for energy production, antioxidant function, and bone health.
Add tofu in your spaghetti sauce or make a tofu sandwich, with soy sauce, garlic, basil, and avocado.
Tempeh is a good source of soy protein, riboflavin, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and fiber important for energy production, protein synthesis, gastrointestinal health and heart health.
Try tempeh with sweet potato cubes, spinach, and red bell pepper in a red wine vinegar sauce, or dip tempeh cubes in an Asian peanut sauce for a tasty appetizer.
Carrots are a good source of Vitamin C, A, K and B6, folate, iron, potassium, and fiber, which are all important for eye, lung, and heart health.
Instead of potato fries, try carrot fries – add cayenne, garlic, and paprika and bake in the oven. Or shred carrots and “hide” them in your pasta or rice dishes.
Brown rice is an excellent source of manganese, selenium, magnesium, and fiber, which help with GI health, energy production, and heart health, along with many other benefits. Short grain brown rice is more sticker/creamier than long grain brown or white rice.
Make a brown rice bowl with all your favorite veggies, some tofu or beans, and your favorite salad dressing. For a different take, try a hearty bowl of brown rice "Oatmeal" with soy milk, pears and cinnamon.
Hope your inclined now to go in the kitchen and cook some tasty healthy meals! And the next time you eat, think about the nutritious components in your food and all the healthy benefits they provide!